Category: Sports News

Forsythe Trade Suggests Rays are Looking to Replenish Farm System

A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Rays again did what the organization tends to do: trade an established veteran player for a promising prospect.

 

Tampa Bay sent second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prized pitching prospect Jose De Leon, a 24-year-old right-hander. The move may have cost Tampa Bay a reliable player, but does help replenish a farm system that is considered middle-of-the-pack at the moment.

 

Forsythe has had the two seasons of his career with the Rays, hitting .281 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs in 2015 and then belting a career-high 20 homers to go with 52 RBIs and a .264 average this past season. He also was considered an above-average defender.

 

In his place, Tampa Bay does land Jose De Leon who is regarded as one of better pitching prospects in the game. He is considered the third-best overall prospect in the Dodgers’ system after going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He struck out 111 batters in 86.1 innings there, then was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA during a September call-up to the Dodgers.

 

While the trade of Forsythe won’t go down with the current roster as Rays third baseman Evan Longoria already has voiced displeasure over it, Tampa Bay has used its developmental program to good benefit in the past. The Rays have usually produced some solid pitching prospects in the past such as David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Archer.

 

However, there have been some concern over the dip in its farm system of late. In mid-January, ESPN’s Keith Law rated the Rays’ farm system as the 19th-best out the 30 Major League Baseball organizations. This was prior to the De Leon trade, so it is possible the Rays have moved a couple of spots up.

 

In particular, 2016 was a rough year for some of the Rays top arms. The top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell dealt with injuries while other top arms such as Taylor Guerrieri and Jacob Faria took steps back in their development. In De Leon, the Rays get a player who is almost major-league ready and possibly by as soon as Opening Day in 2017.

 

After going 68-94 in 2016, Tampa Bay may be looking to collectively bring another set of promising prospects to fruition with an eye toward having a successful run a few seasons down the road.

Tampa Bay Rays Acquire New Pitcher From Minor League

Major League Baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays, have made a surprising trade. The Florida side have traded Logan Forsythe, a consistent performing second baseman to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Who did the Rays get in return? The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten a pitcher named Jose De Leon who has performed well in the minor leagues.

 

The deal is viewed with skepticism by many. It could turn out to be a great deal, should Jose De Leon develop into a top pitcher, which many believe he can. Or, it can turn out to be a complete flop, should Jose De Leon disappoint. Jose, who is 24 years old, says that he was shocked to receive the news that he was going to to the Tampa Bay Rays and may begin to start next season. De Leon also said that he is very happy to join the Florida side as it will be much closer to his home in Puerto Rico. He lives in Puerto Rico and the trip from Florida to Puerto Rico is much closer than it is from California.

 

Jose De Leon has dropped 30 pounds recently and has improved his pitching mechanics. Injuries have plagued him recently however, with him being sidelined for a month twice in a short span of time. The pitcher says that he is now feeling stronger and healthier than ever. His arm feels fine he says and he has been in very good form. Since returning from injury, he has gone 7-1 with a total of 102 strikeouts in only 81 1/3 innings. If that is a sign of his performance to come in the MLB, then Tampa has surely stuck gold on this deal.

 

While signed for the Dodgers, Jose De Leon played in its Triple A affiliate team in Oklahoma City. It is speculated that he may first play for the Durham Bulls of the Triple A league before he gets called up to play for the Tampa Bay Rays. Ned Colletti, who was the former general managers of the Dodgers, says that he views De Leon as a Major League Baseball pitcher starter for sure. He is not sure he says, whether he could be top of the rotation though. De Leon, meanwhile is extremely motivated to prove to people that he can succeed at the highest stage and prove his detractors wrong.

 

 

USF Women’s Softball – Ready for 2017 with 4 Recruits that Shine a Sunnyside for the Bull’s Future

At the University of South Florida in Tampa, the Lady Bulls softball squad is consistently a hot topic of sports conversation. As the Lady Brahmas prepare to swing into the 2017 season, the saying, “we don’t rebuild, we just retool” is fitting.

 

 

USF will start the season ranked as one of the top 25 best softball teams in the nation. An even brighter future lies ahead for Coach Ken Eriksen’s Bulls, as four highly rated student athletes will join the fold next fall. The world-renowned coach, who occupies the third base coach’s box for the Bulls, is also the leader of the United States Women’s National team.

 

 

The Lady Bull softball team has received letters of intent from a pair of powerful hurlers, adding depth to the pitching staff, plus a hard-hitting outfielder and a versatile utility player who has experience at eight different defensive positions.

 

 

Two More Aces in the Herd

 

Miriam (Mim) Schmoll and Georgina (George) Corrick will be eligible to toe the rubber for USF beginning in 2017. Eriksen justifiably conveys an enthusiastic level of optimism since signing these two power arms.

 

 

Both Mim and George have posted an earned run average, (ERA) below one run a game during their prep careers. Schmoll has led the Bayshore, Florida Lady Bruins since her freshman season, while Corrick is the ace of the Seminole High School staff. Each pitcher throws year-round on the travel ball circuit, with Corrick the lead pitcher for the European Champion Great Britain 19 & under squad.

 

 

Bulls Add Big Bats

 

Kyndall Williams and Jasmine Haynes are a pair of excellent fielders who also possess superb bat control. With a pitching staff that is going to be hard to score upon, team defense, getting runners on pace and scoring runs, are the next needs Eriksen hopes to fill.

 

 

Haynes and Williams will bring excellent fielding skills to Tampa next season, plus a pair of high batting averages. Kyndall also has a home run power, including a near perfect base stealing percentage.

 

Since pitching wins games in women’s fast pitch softball, but batters plate the necessary runs, the future looks bright for the USF Lady Bull softball squad. With one of the brightest and most creative minds in the world of fast pitch softball leading the herd, the future looks bright for the Lady Bulls.

 

Buccaneers Reveal New Team Helmet

The Buccaneers are back for another action-packed season in the NFL, but when they hit the field this year, they’ll do so sporting new and improved helmet and logo designs. Revealed on the NFL Network by Warren Sapp and Gerald McCoy, the new helmet and logo haven’t changed considerably from the old design. Instead, that design was enhanced, bringing forth the highlights of the high-flying Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag and enhancing them to appeal to the eye of the audience. What is new is the chrome facemask, something only this NFL team has.

 

 

Some of the re-design highlights include:

 

 

– More vivid flag

 

 

– Distinctive pewter on the helmet

 

 

– Intimidating-looking skull, cross and sword

 

 

– Larger logos

 

 

Thanks to the use of a hand-painted shading technique, the helmet provides immaculate attention to detail, providing an overall pleasing appearance that catches the eye even when unintended. No other NFL team has a helmet with such eye-popping, dramatic features. The revamped helmet is a part of a grander scheme, as the Buccaneers want to give themselves a new image and start off the season winning games and attracting more fans to the Tampa Bay side!

 

 

The Last Uniform Update

 

 

It’s been 17 years’ since the team has updated their uniform. The Buccaneers traded their orange and white uniform for the current pewter and red color at this time. Fans were excited to boast their teams’ new colors and have already expressed their delight in these great helmets. Undoubtedly it feels good to support a team with the creame le croup of uniforms!

 

 

More Changes in the Future

 

 

More uniform changes are still in store for this season. In less than two weeks, the entire Buccaneers uniform ensemble will be revealed. Watch out for the Buccaneers this season, though you’ll likely be unable to miss them in these eye-catching new helmets!

 

USF Lady Bulls Aim to Slay the Giant of Women’s College Basketball

The USF Lady Bulls are fresh off their 5th conference victory, besting the SMU Lady Mustangs, Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Sunday Coach Jose Fernandez’s squad will play a nationally televised contest against the Temple Lady Owls, tip-off at high noon in Philadelphia. On the line is second place in the conference standings and potential #2 to tournament seed.

 

 

Avoid the Lady Huskies

 

The #1 seed come conference tournament time is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The University of Connecticut Lady Husky squad has set the benchmark for excellence across all college sports.

 

 

Geno Auriemma’s UConn team has won the NCAA title eleven times, a feat matched by no other school in collegiate basketball history. While UConn appears the overwhelming favorite in their quest for a twelfth crown, the USF Bulls have also established themselves as a perennial power.

 

 

Perennial National Prominence

 

Catching the class of women’s college basketball may not be realistic for the Lady Bulls. Finishing the season strong enough to earn another berth in the women’s national championship tournament is realistic. Last week the Sun Dome Arena was treated to Fernandez’s 300th career victory, spanning a stellar 17-years as the Bull’s boss.

 

 

During his tenure, Fernandez has led South Florida to a dozen post-season appearances, including seven with more than twenty wins. This year the Lady Bulls have responded with maybe their best year yet. USF already has 15 victories against two solitary losses, one of those to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford.

 

 

The Giant Comes to the Sun Dome Arena

 

USF splits the last 10 conference games, half on the road and the other half at the Sun Dome in Tampa. South Florida will sandwich 3 straight Sun Dome games in the middle of a pair of back to road tilts as they head down the final 10 game stretch.

 

 

A victory over the University of Cincinnati on February 1st, plus a split in the two games against Temple, and USF could clinch the #2 tournament seed. Earning the second seed means they would be in the opposite bracket from the UConn powerhouse.

 

Before the tournament time, USF will have one more chance to slay the giant. On Monday, February 27th, South Florida will welcome the all-time winningest team in college basketball to the Sunshine State. If the Lady Bulls continue to play well, USF will have a shot at snapping the longest undefeated streak in basketball history.

 

Jack Sock Rises on the ATP Tour

Tampa Bay’s tennis star Jack Sock recently made it into the top twenty on the men’s professional tour, the ATP. He also advanced to the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open only to lose to the French star Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

Jack Sock played well and appeared resplendent in Melbourne with his trademark sock choice. On this occasion, he wore socks to match the season’s new color, fuschia. This hot color is found on Nike shoes and is being worn by a large number of male and female tennis players. This shoe color is also Sock’s choice to go along with his matching fuschia socks. But it was not just his shoes and socks that stood out, but his play as he had won three matches at this Grand Slam event and played a tight match against the higher ranked and highly regarded player Tsonga. For more about Jack Sock and his climb into the twentieth position on the ATP go to Yahoo.com: Your text to link…

Tampa has a long history as a sports town with baseball, football, and ice hockey to chose from. Tampa residents are blessed with multiple PGA level golf courses and countless tennis courts to hone their sports skills. The weather in the Tampa area is conducive to outdoor activities and the playing of sports year round. But the area pales in comparison to the other Florida Coast that boasts many more public facilities and training programs for tournament level Junior competition. Directly across the state from Tampa is the Space Coast and Florida District 15, an area that used to draw thousands of junior tennis players from the state to play in 6 or 7 sanctioned events taking place in a public tennis facility, Lawnwood, located in Ft. Pierce, Florida. This type of program specializing in promoting junior tennis works wonders for the sport of tennis itself.

All individual sports like tennis and golf rely on players who achieve star status like a Tiger Woods or a John McEnroe to induce others to play the sport. We can hope that Jack Sock will do his part in inspiring others to enjoy the sport of tennis. Visit the latest ATP standing on Reddit: Your text to link…

 

The formidable Pasco’s Jordyn Kadlub

The postseason of the high school girls’ soccer has commenced with the beginning of the region play. The cost of the admission is just $7 for a game based on the talent of the Tampa Bay of the players such as Pasco High’s Jordyn Kadlub. There are major reasons why fans should come out in large numbers to watch the sophomore and her counterparts play.

 

One of the most important reason is that she has scored more than 50 goals under her name. The 50 goals are the 18 games, the figure that put her among the top five in the state. According to the MaxPreps, she is averaging about hat trick per matchup and still, she hasn’t come close to the number of her freshman of 58 goals. Incase Pasco manages to extend the post season she might beat the record that was set by the Ridgewood’s Melissa Wells in the season of 1990-91. She says that she plays for fun. She noted that this season has been terrific for her and her teammates since they managed to play all their games without losing.

 

Whenever Kadlub is playing there is a high possibility of her scoring a hat trick, this is another reason to draw the fans out to come and watch her play. For example during the district semifinal where they were pitted against Weeki Waache, she scored a hat trick and this was during the first half. Though the striker had four goals during this particular match, this was not the best performance of the season so far. She scored 7 goals against Zephyrhills, the match ended 8-0 this was in November. The Pasco coach notes that the way she plays is unique, whenever she sees an opportunity she takes it, she does not let it slip away.

 

Unlike other players who focus on a single game, Kedlub has plays two different sport games. Soccer is not her best, she plays softball as a pitcher. Even sports expert wonder how would one manage to be successful in two games at once. She has had 88 strikeouts in 101 as a freshman she manages all this in 101 innings. She says that she will decide later what game is for her in the future, but right now she just want to have fun.

 

USF Women’s Softball – Ready for 2017 with 4 Recruits that Shine a Sunnyside for the Bull’s Future

At the University of South Florida in Tampa, the Lady Bulls softball squad is consistently a hot topic of sports conversation. As the Lady Brahmas prepare to swing into the 2017 season, the saying, “we don’t rebuild, we just retool” is fitting.

 

 

USF will start the season ranked as one of the top 25 best softball teams in the nation. An even brighter future lies ahead for Coach Ken Eriksen’s Bulls, as four highly rated student athletes will join the fold next fall. The world-renowned coach, who occupies the third base coach’s box for the Bulls, is also the leader of the United States Women’s National team.

 

 

The Lady Bull softball team has received letters of intent from a pair of powerful hurlers, adding depth to the pitching staff, plus a hard-hitting outfielder and a versatile utility player who has experience at eight different defensive positions.

 

 

Two More Aces in the Herd

 

Miriam (Mim) Schmoll and Georgina (George) Corrick will be eligible to toe the rubber for USF beginning in 2017. Eriksen justifiably conveys an enthusiastic level of optimism since signing these two power arms.

 

 

Both Mim and George have posted an earned run average, (ERA) below one run a game during their prep careers. Schmoll has led the Bayshore, Florida Lady Bruins since her freshman season, while Corrick is the ace of the Seminole High School staff. Each pitcher throws year-round on the travel ball circuit, with Corrick the lead pitcher for the European Champion Great Britain 19 & under squad.

 

 

Bulls Add Big Bats

 

Kyndall Williams and Jasmine Haynes are a pair of excellent fielders who also possess superb bat control. With a pitching staff that is going to be hard to score upon, team defense, getting runners on pace and scoring runs, are the next needs Eriksen hopes to fill.

 

 

Haynes and Williams will bring excellent fielding skills to Tampa next season, plus a pair of high batting averages. Kyndall also has a home run power, including a near perfect base stealing percentage.

 

Since pitching wins games in women’s fast pitch softball, but batters plate the necessary runs, the future looks bright for the USF Lady Bull softball squad. With one of the brightest and most creative minds in the world of fast pitch softball leading the herd, the future looks bright for the Lady Bulls.

 

Tampa Bay Bucs Reach Agreement with Defensive Coordinator

Mike Smith, the Buccaneers defensive coordinator, appears to be staying put in Tampa. He and the management have agreed to extend his contract. Details of the deal have not been released, but it’s a sure bet that many people are happy to hear about his plans to remain with the team.

 

Smith was the Atlanta Falcons head coach from 2008 – 2014. He took the Falcons to the playoffs in multiple years, including 2008 when he was also named the NFL Coach of the Year. Before that role, he was the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he also held various positions at the college and pro levels.

 

He joined the Bucs in January of 2016. He works under head coach Dirk Koetter, who was once Smith’s assistant in Atlanta.

 

Smith recently considered going back into head coaching. He was a candidate for vacant positions in San Diego and Jacksonville. The Jaguars ultimately went with another coach, and Smith ended up withdrawing his name from consideration for the Chargers job.

 

In the early half of the 2016 season, the Buccaneers’ defense was lackluster. They ranked poorly across all aspects of defense. In the second half, they improved to 13th in yards allowed and fourth in points per game. During this period, they also ranked first in takeaways, with 18, and with their third-down conversion rate, which was 32%.

 

Mike Smith is known for being able to develop close relationships with his players. He has experience, an extensive knowledge of the game, and great instincts which allow him to draw up effective plays. The team is looking to keep its momentum going after finishing 9 and 7 in 2016. In 2014, they only had two wins all season.

 

Tampa Venues Will Host Group B of Gold Cup 2017

Despite the lack of a franchise MLS club, Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region are often considered to be spiritual homes of American soccer, often referred to as fútbol. For this reason, local fans are delighted to learn that Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium has been selected as one of the venues for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A second venue is expected to be announced in the next couple of months.

 

The Gold Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned tournament that selects the top national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The defending Gold Cup champion is Mexico, a country that will also host some matches in 2017. It so happens that the United States National Team has been drawn in the group that will play in Tampa after the initial matches in Nashville. The first U.S. match in Tampa is scheduled for July 12.

 

According to an official press release issued by CONCACAF, the 2015 Gold Cup and the 2015 Copa America were a resounding success for soccer in the U.S., and the American team was able to advance past the group stage. The last time Tampa hosted a Gold Cup match was 2011; subsequent tournaments have been partial to major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and New York; however, CONCACAF wants to reach soccer-crazy communities such as Sarasota, Bradenton and Tampa.

 

Some of the national teams scheduled to play in the 2017 Gold Cup have a strong FIFA ranking. Costa Rica, for example, is currently ranked 17. Other major national teams include Mexico and the United States; however, Jamaica and Panama are hoping to shine this time around.

 

In previous matches played in Tampa, fans have packed the stadium in support of the national team. The United States is a five-time winner of the Gold Cup.